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Stimulus Newsletter August 4 2010

During the peak of the Recovery Act, Stimulus News You Can Use was one way WSDOT kept transportation stakeholders updated on the fast-moving effort to put people to work and improve the state’s infrastructure. Each edition contained information on project delivery and highlights. Visit the Newsletter Archive for earlier editions.

August 4, 2010

This week's stimulus snapshot

  • Major I-90 concrete rehabilitation project awarded on July 30
  • Two more Recovery Act projects completed
  • WSDOT prepares to apply for high speed rail grants 
  • posts latest accountability data 
  • Important stimulus dates 
  • Useful Recovery Act web links 
  • Stimulus data table update

WSDOT awards contract for I-90 project – WSDOT awarded the contract for the I-90/Lake Easton Vicinity to Big Creek Bridge Vicinity EB – Replace/Rehab Concrete project on July 30 to Icon Materials. The contract was awarded for $14.8 million, about 9% under the engineer’s estimate. A companion westbound project in the same area of I-90 was completed earlier this year. To date, 47 state projects and 157 local projects receiving stimulus highway funds have been awarded to contractors.

Two more Recovery Act projects completed – WSDOT's contractor completed the I-5/Koontz Road to Harrison Avenue Paving project in Lewis County on July 22. The project, which received $3.5 million in Recovery Act funds, was the third stimulus-funded I-5 paving project completed to date. Island County completed its Ault Field Road Widening project in May. The project provides an additional lane between Oak Harbor Road and Goldie Road. WSDOT and local governments have completed 125 Recovery Act highway projects.

Washington plans to apply for more high-speed rail funds – WSDOT is preparing to submit applications for a new round of high-speed rail grants by August 6. The applications will seek part of the $2.5 billion in high-speed rail funding provided by the 2010 federal budget, of which $2.125 billion is directed for corridor (rather than individual) projects. Washington received $590 million in January for corridor improvements as part of the national competition for $8 billion in Recovery Act high-speed rail funds. The U.S. Department of Transportation is expected to announce the grant winners on or before September 30. All awarded funds in the new round of grants must be obligated within two years of the award.

National stimulus data published at – The federal Office of Management and Budget released new quarterly data on stimulus projects as of June 30. The reports feature financial information, employment data, and identify contractors and vendors. Information is available at the federal website.

Congressional committee held Recovery Act hearing July 27 – Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood testified at the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Recovery Act oversight hearing on July 27. The hearing focused on the national delivery of transportation projects, including testimony from highway, transit, and rail representatives. LaHood highlighted next month’s groundbreaking of the city of Seattle Mercer Corridor project as part of his written testimony.

Federal Transportation Blog highlights this week – Check the WSDOT Federal Issues blog for recent items on reauthorization updates, congressional earmarks, and the latest information on federal transportation funding reauthorization. A July 30 item included a summary of WSDOT’s preapplications for TIGER II grants.

Highlight of the week

Construction underway to build new 12th Street Bridge over I-405

In early August, I-405 drivers will see change on the Bellevue I-405 corridor as crews begin major work over the freeway. Crews will set 10, 100-ton girders for a new bridge at NE 12th Street. The girders are the backbone of a larger, wider Bellevue bridge, and a part of the $107.5 million Bellevue Braids construction project aimed at relieving congestion at the I-405/SR 520 interchange. The project is funded by both the Recovery Act and 2005 gas tax. The project will impact drivers who travel nights on I-405 through Bellevue in early August. This is when crew will hoist the girders into place.
Two hefty cranes able to lift at least 500 tons each will lift 10 large bridge girders into place. The girders will act as a backbone for the new NE 12th Street Bridge.
The project is expected to improve traffic flow. Each day about 60,000 vehicles jockey for position as they travel north on I-405 in Bellevue. Some vehicles enter northbound I-405 from downtown Bellevue, while others exit I-405 to get onto nearby SR 520. The conflict causes up to eight hours of congestion each day. In addition, traffic often backs up on eastbound SR 520 near I-405, when the vehicles exiting onto 124th Ave NE from SR 520 conflict with drivers entering SR 520 from I-405. Once complete in 2012, the Bellevue Braids project will help relieve congestion at these sticky points by building a series of braided ramps that separate vehicles for a smoother and safer drive through Bellevue.

Important dates

August 6: High-speed rail grant application deadline
August 11: Transit application deadline for TIGGER grants 
August 14: Ribbon cutting for Washougal SR 14 pedestrian tunnel project
August 23: Final TIGER II application deadline
September 30: Deadline for obligating Recovery Act highway funds
September 30: Next high-speed rail grant announcements expected

Websites of interest

WSDOT ARRA website:
WSDOT Federal Transportation Issues blog:
Washington recovery website:
Federal recovery website:
FHWA recovery website:
Federal Transit Administration recovery website:
Federal Railroad Administration recovery website:
Federal Aviation Administration recovery website:
OMB recovery website:

This week by the numbers (project dollars in millions)

Individual highway projects





Operationally complete

26 (53%)

99 (60%)

125 (58%)

Two additional projects completed this edition 

Awarded/under way1

47 (96%)

158 (95%)

205 (95%)

Includes completed projects


47 (96%)

161 (96%)

208 (96%)

Includes completed and awarded projects

Certified, awaiting advertisement

2 (4%)

6 (4%)

8 (4%)

These projects are planned for upcoming advertisement

Total highway funds





Obligated funds2

$340 (100%)

$152 (100%)

$492 (100%)

All funds were obligated by
March 2, 2010

Projects certified

49 (100%)

167 (100%)

216 (100%)

Two additional projects certified 
in July

Projects obligated2

47 (96%)

165 (99%)

212 (98%)

FHWA has approved funds for the projects

Safety funding buckets ($12 stimulus)









State stimulus funds only





Includes completed projects





Includes completed and awarded projects

Transit projects




State total

Percent of total $179 awarded




Includes Washington State Ferries projects

Number of Transit projects obligated

35 of 35

19 of 19

20 of 20

55 of 55
FTA counts all rural projects as one project

June employment





Payroll (in millions)



$8.8 for June

Cumulatively, $106 million to date 
Average wage is $38 per hour




for June

Employees have worked 2,743,055 hours to date




for June

FTE = 173 hours per month




for June

Note: Not a count of unique employees

This includes one state project that has stimulus funding authorized for pre-construction and is currently under way. 
2 All funds were obligated by the March 2, 2010 deadline as required by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. As projects develop, obligation totals will fluctuate as funds are deobligated due to low bids or savings are realized on project closeouts. Unobligated ARRA balances available to the Highway Construction Program will be used to fund Tier 3 projects. Local ARRA balances will be made available to three additional local projects which were certified on March 8. After September 30, 2010, ARRA funds may not be re-obligated and any balances will be turned over to FHWA for distribution back to the states for project cost increases.  
* TIGER projects are not included in this table.

Last revised on April 11, 2014